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Marius Petipa's exotic ballet, set in legendary India, is a story of love, death and vengeful judgement. Natalia Makarova's sumptuous recreation of Petipa's choreography, with atmospheric sets by Pier Luigi Samaritini and beautiful costumes by Yolanda Sonnabend, stars Tamara Rojo as the Bayadère (temple dancer) Nikiya, Carlos Acosta as Solor, and Marianela Nuñez as Gamzatti whose
alluring presence challenges Solor's love for Nikiya. Filmed in High Definition and recorded in true surround sound.
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The Royal Ballet comes from long line of amazing, gorgeous dancers: Fonteyn, Shearer, Nureyev and Sibley are names that evoke some of the best in ballet. However, it seems that England's own has gotten a little lost.
The staging of this Bayadere--set by Natalia Makarova--is lovely, taken after the former Kirov (now Mariinsky). It is in all senses of the word, a classical ballet. While not Petipa's strongest work, the choreography is nothing less than what you would expect from him. Minkus's score is pleasant and suited to the ballet, and one can see why it is a standard, long lasting composition. I have no issue with any aspects of the staging or spectacle of this ballet. On top of it, the Blu Ray recording is absolutely stunning in quality, and well filmed. There are no missing dancers, chopped off feet, or misplaced shots. Additionally, the costumes are so stunning that Blu Ray makes them dazzle. One can see every detail, down to the Swarovski stones glittering on Nikiya's bodice in the Kingdom of the Shades.
Quite possibly the best part of this production is not Tamara Rojo's Nikiya, but the ever charismatic Marianela Nunez as the devilish Gamzatti. While Nunez does not have the same lines as Royal Ballet predecessor Darcy Bussell, her Gamzatti equals--if not surpasses--Bussell. Nunez presents the powerful princess in many dimensions; she is a seductress; a woman who knows what she wants and goes for it; a guilt wracked temptress; a scared little girl. While the tendency is to play Gamzatti as the girl you hated in high school, Nunez uses her ice cold control and smooth technique to give a performance that juices the choreography for depth in the character. By the final act, I found myself almost rooting for Gamzatti in spite of her actions--something I have never done in seeing La Bayadere. Suffice to say, Nunez is the Royal Ballet's gem.
Disappointing were the performances of Rojo and Carlos Acosta as tragic lovers Nikiya and Solar. Having never seen Rojo in a full length production outside of her incredible Isadora, I was looking forward to seeing her dance Nikiya. While Rojo's technique had that lovely measure of control and strength that is trademark of Royal Ballet ballerinas, her emotional performance was lacking. She seemed set on one expression, tragic angst, throughout the entire ballet. By the end it seemed she was wallowing in self pity, and one wondered why it is the gods seemed to favor her so much. Solar, on a similar plane, seemed chronically depressed and unsure, if not flat. While Acosta has some brilliant technique, it did not seem to shine through in this performance. Instead, he seemed a bit behind on his game.
Overall, the DVD is worth a purchase for just Nunez's performance as Gamzatti. Additionally, the corps work in the Kingdom of the Shades is stunning and well performed. Do not hope for a stunning or moving performance by Rojo and Acosta, however, as you will find yourself disappointed.
The production is filled eyes, classical ballet in the literal sense of the term. Elements such as the exoticism, the supernatural love triangle and the scenarios are fully explored in colorful and luxurious. The light comes with the imagination of the choreography, with the dialogue scenes, just great. The images captured on digital cameras detailing all the riches of production. The direction of scenes taken in hits, we see the characters' expressions and feelings. This can be a problem!
The orchestra shows every nuance of the score, music by Minkus is delicate. Rich in expressing emotions. The problems of the presentation are the soloists. Tamara Rojo is an excellent dancer, owner of an impressive technique. His emaciated body affect its performance. Ballerina need not be so stunted. His Nikiya is meaningless, forget the passionate feelings of characters, does not act. Can you improve in the second act, but their facial expressions or not emote a 10 year old.
Another disappointment was Carlos Acosta, tired of praising this great Cuban dancer. Your Spartacus is superb, your Romeo is telling. Acosta has no temperament, style and finesse needed for the character Solor. His main concern is to dance and display their technique, dance to the applause of the audience and forgets the character.
The best of the soloists is Marianela Nunes, his princess Gamzatti is delicately combined with the freshness of youthful beauty. Embodies the character and expresses his feelings. Spoiled brat teenager without limitation that satisfies the desire of the father to marry the good catch. Its variations and coda are breathtaking, its triple pirouettes seem easy. His charming smile. Can a chemical Acosta with Tamara Rojo that has you rooting for her. The corps de ballet of the Royal Ballet dances with skill and excellent technique. The dance of shadows, which opens the second act, is one of the most beautiful sequences of classical ballet. The Royal Ballet take for granted, the scene of chilling and thrilling.
Ali Hassan Ayache
Portuguese Original Language:
La Bayadere, cada um monta a seu bel prazer.
O DVD proporciona coisas incríveis, são gravações de todos os tipos. Vinte anos atrás nem sonhava em ter uma versão do balé La Bayadère, hoje tenho mais de cinco. Cada teatro com seu coreografo faz sua versão desse belo balé de Marius Petipa e música de Minkus. Natalia Makarova não deixa por menos, inventa sua versão da obra. Acerta em muitos quesitos e pisa na bola em outros. Acerta no quarto ato, ao dar final a história de amor entre Solor e Nikiya. Erra nos segundo ato, diminui o número de bailarinas , das 32 originais temos apenas 24.
A produção é de encher os olhos, balé clássico no sentido literal do termo. Elementos como o exotismo, o triângulo amoroso e o sobrenatural são perfeitamente explorados em cenários luxuosos e coloridos. A luz acompanha a imaginação da coreografia , dialoga com as cenas, simplesmente ótima. As imagens captadas em câmeras digitais detalham todas as riquezas da produção. A direção de cenas acerta nas tomadas, vemos as expressões e sentimentos dos personagens. Isso pode ser um problema!
A orquestra mostra todas as nuances da partitura, música de Minkus é delicada. Rica em expressar emoções. Os problemas da apresentação são os solistas. Tamara Rojo é uma excelente bailarina, dona de uma técnica impressionante. Seu corpo excessivamente magro prejudica seu desempenho. Bailarina não precisa ser tão raquítica. Sua Nikiya é inexpressiva, esquece os sentimentos apaixonados da personagens, não atua. Consegue melhorar no segundo ato, mas suas expressões faciais não emocionam nem uma criança de 10 anos.
Outra decepção foi Carlos Acosta, cansei de elogiar esse grande bailarino cubano. Seu Spartacus é soberbo, seu Romeu é expressivo. Acosta não tem temperamento, estilo e a delicadeza necessária para o personagem Solor. Sua preocupação maior está em dançar e exibir sua técnica, dança para as palmas da platéia e se esquece do personagem.
A melhor das solistas é Marianela Nunes, sua princesa Gamzatti é delicadeza combinada com o frescor da beleza juvenil. Incorpora a personagem e expressa seus sentimentos. Menina mimada , adolescente sem limites que satisfaz o desejo do pai de casar com o partidão. Suas variações e codas são de tirar o fôlego, suas piruetas triplas parecem fáceis. Seu sorriso encanta. Consegue uma química com Acosta que Tamara Rojo não tem, você torce por ela. O corpo de baile do Royal Ballet dança com destreza e excelente técnica. A dança das sombras, que abre o segundo ato, é uma das sequências mais belas do balé clássico. O Royal Ballet tira de letra, cena de arrepiar e emocionar.
Ali Hassan Ayache
The ballet itself is quite successful in fulfilling it's promise. The music of Minkus though pedestrian gives enough ambiance for some spectacular dancing by both the principals and the corps. There are some longueur moments and some unesessary padding for other characters but for the most part it holds up well.
The most famous section and the section often given alone is the Act II scene two - "The Kingdom of the Shades". The opening involving the corps only is extremely beautiful and almost unique in classic ballet. We have a "defile" of the corps (all in white "ballet blanc") entering down a ramp until all 32 of them are arranged in even rows. They all enter doing a series of "arabesque penchee" with a back bend. It is awesome! As great as the Royal Ballet is in this (Makarova choreographer), I still think the Paris Opera Ballet with Nureyev's choreography was a bit more stunning. I think the Royal has better principals than the POB especially the Solor. You owe it to yourself to have both versions.
John Lanchbery knows how to lead a ballet orchestra for the benefit of both the dancers and the audience. He is one of the very best. The staging and scenery were fine and lent themselves well in presenting an otherworldly world. In all, a very fine production which I have enjoyed many times of viewing and now reviewing.